Time to reduce the consumption of batteries with USBCell

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Time to reduce the consumption of batteries with USBCell

I don’t know if this is normal, but I feel that I’m buying batteries very often. Of course it matters that I have two kids which have several toys that needs batteries but still it scares me a bit when I see how many I bring back to recycling from time to time.

If I think about the devices I got that uses batteries then the list is not short of course, just to mention a few of them: GameBoy Advance, Leapster, 2 flash lights, joysticks with build in games, Flexi-Trax cars, Wii controllers, wireless mouse, various remote controls. The winning device for battery usage must be the 2 flash lights that my kids have for bed time; they often forget to turn them off or lay them under the pillow where they easy turn on again. Anyway, I keep buying batteries again and again.

So when I a while back saw the products from USBCell my first reaction was ‘must have’. So when I earlier this month received a newsletter from them where they offered a 15% discount and at the same time mentioned they now ship to Switzerland I just had to order.

So I bought 5 packages (max you can buy with the 15% discount) of AA batteries. Right now they are only offering these batteries but according to their website they will be offering other types soon. I would not mind a few sets of AAA batteries for the mouse.

I have to admit these are the most expensive batteries by far that I have bought. Price for a single battery including import duty and all is 12.32 CHF (Equals to around USD 10.11 or EURO 8.6). This might sound a bit crazy so I guess I better explain what these batteries are and what makes them so special.

The batteries from USBCell are rechargeable batteries with a unique feature; they can be recharged using a USB port on a PC (or any device really). So when a battery is low on power you just pop off the top of the battery and you will find a USB connector; plug the battery into a USB port and wait. There is a small LED that will show the status: Charging, 90% recharged and done with recharging.

Of course I could have used a normal recharge station and get the same feature and I do have one… somewhere… Now with the new batteries I don’t have to find it; just plug it to the PC which is on all the time anyway.

So when I got the batteries today I got busy… So time for some pictures.

The USBCells

5 packages of USBCell
The 5 packages.

USBCell
Open and closed USBCell.

Time to recharge

USBCell charging using PC
PC is busy with recharging…

USBCell charging using Xbox 360
Even Xbox 360 can recharge them; just had to pull a good bit in the top.

USBCell charging using Wii
The Nintendo Wii could only handle one at a time as the two ports are very close; so one poor Cell had to wait.

Several hours later I was ready to test them. The batteries got pretty warm during the recharge but that is normal so nothing to worry about.

I plugged the recharged batteries into several units and had no problem with them. Just need to keep them in mind; don’t want to loose one by mistake. So next time a battery is low on power I will swap it and plug the empty one into the USB port and some hours later I got more power again.

At the moment I would say this is a awesome product; well worth buying if you use a lot of batteries.

So the big question is; when will they have paid themselves back. I don’t know but it sure will take awhile. In the meantime I will just be happy about not having to buy batteries or give them back to recycling.

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